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Is Islam A Friend Of The Theory Of Evolution?

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Greetings, friends,

 

I have meditated on this issue in an attempt to see the path to harmony. Indeed, the path is narrow, but I cannot see that it ends. A balance must be found between the individual muslim and the source of his or her beliefs if I am to be free to continue my investigations on any matter, and this matter is not different. Between the source of these beliefs and the beliefs themselves is a road which has been paved by many according to their individual desires. It is not to be wondered that some of the paving stones have been misplaced. But neither is it to be assumed that the path must forever lead away from truth. In any walk, there are missteps.

 

I ask my brothers and sisters to forgive me for any missteps of my own. If I stumble upon sensitive questions that seem to upset your faiith, please remember that my own faith does not include many of the elements that form your own, and is structured of different elements entirely, arranged in ways which will likely prove as strange to you as yours are to me. While I have learned many things about Islam already, it remains the case that these things are not in the end compatible with my own beliefs. But even if there is no place for fundamental agreement, there is always a place for greater understanding.

 

In peace, Jesse

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Hi Jesse,

 

Thank you for your time and i hope you find the truth in the end.

 

Like the several posts i posted few days ago, it states clearly as to why evolution and Islam aren't compatible.

 

The Qur'an clearly states that Adam was the first human created. This is important to note because if something was created by Allah then it did not evolve such as the theory poses. Now you ask why is not possible for Allah to have allowed evolution to take place as he is omnipotent and omnicient. Anything is possible and easy to be done by the creator and so he does as he pleases. However, the Qur'anic verses shows that there was no common ancestor between humans and chimps like the theory states. Scholars who are well-versed have come to agreement that evolution is not something told in the Quran which is true yet again.

 

As humans we do not know the unseen and our knowledge is very limited. Toaist, what is the point of creating something if it is already going to evolve into the same thing you're creating several million years down the line? If Islam agreed with evolution it would say something like: and verily with our powers we evolved our creation until Adam and Eve came to existence. Except is says quite the opposite.

 

Wa Allahu'Alim (and Allah knows best)

 

As you stated this is a sensitive issue, nonetheless you're trying to gain ilm (knowledge) and therefore it would be wrong and rude of us to ignore your queries and merely let it subside.

 

May Allah (swt) forgive me if i said something wrong.

 

 

Regards,

 

Crystal Eyes

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Peace!!

 

Sorry, forgot that I wasnt a ful member, thats why I couldn post it. I am now, I'll give it one more chance, eh? :D

 

Quran And Modern Science Conflict Or Reconciliation 1of3:

(www.)"http://aswatalislam/DisplayFilesP.aspx?TitleID=50027&TitleName=Zakir_Naik"]aswatalislam/DisplayFilesP....Name=Zakir_Na

k[/url]

 

:D it will work, otherwise, I tried(I'm not brilliant with computers) :D

 

Peace, and may you find all the answers that you are searching for in life.

Thank you for reposting the link, sister,

 

I have downloaded the three files, "Zakir Naik - Quran And Modern Science Conflict Or Reconciliation," but haven't had a chance to play them yet. Forgive me, but until I went back to take notes on the responses, I hadn't noticed your reposting. It's the delays caused by moderator review again. No need to blush! I'm still a couple posts short of being able to post links myself.

 

As ever, in peace, Jesse

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Hi Crystal Eyes, wa alaikum assalam,

 

Thank you for your time as well. I have looked again at the five passages of the Qur'an that have been posted in this thread, by you and Joseph. Three relate directly to the creation of mankind. One to the marvels of the heavens and one to humans being mischievous, I guess.

 

__________

 

2:30 - The Qur’an says: And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "Verily, I am going to place on earth generations after generations (of humans)." They said: "Will You place therein those who will make mischief and shed blood, while we glorify You with praises and thanks and sanctify You?" He said: "I know that which you do not know."

 

 

23:12 - We (God) created man from an extract of clay.

 

38:71-76 - "And [mention] when your Lord said to the angels, 'Truly, I will create a man from clay. So when I have completed him, and breathed into him of My spirit, then fall down prostrate to him.' And the angels prostrated, one and all. Save for Satan, who was too proud to, and disbelieved. He said to him, 'O Satan, what prevented you from prostrating to what I have created with My two hands? Are you arrogant, or too exalted?' He said,'I am better than he; You created me from fire and created him from clay'"

 

55:14 - : He (Allah) created man from sounding clay like unto pottery.

 

 

__________

 

As a side note, what translation are you using? I know that Shakir, Yusufali and Pickthal translate the "generations and generations" of 2:30 in your translation as "khalif", "vice regent" and "viceroy" respectively.

 

__________

 

Sister, these aya do not say anything about how Allah created. They don't. Honestly, they don't. They say "out of clay", which, when I check, is alternatively translated as "mire" and "dirt" which is to say nothing more than "from the elements of the earth". How does this contradict the theory of evolution?

 

They say it is done with Allah's two hands. They speak of breath. But not even the Islamic scholars say these are physical hands and breath. No, these are interpreted by muslims as spiritual hands and spiritual breath, and those who say otherwise are called heretics. How does this contradict the theory of evolution?

 

These Aya speak of what we are made of, and who did the work, but they say nothing about how the work was done in any physical sense.

 

I have searched the Qur'an in the USC-MSA database and find passages in addition to those you and Joseph have cited above - 6:2, 7:12, 15:26, 15:28, 15:33, 17:61, 32:7, 37:11. All say humans are made from clay, or mud, or mire, and none say it was done through any particular physical process. But also I find the following two passages, which seem to contradict some special form of creation of our physical bodies.

 

<break, part 1 of 3>

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(Yusufali) 3:49 - "And (appoint him) a messenger to the Children of israel, (with this message): "'I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah's leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe;

 

(Yusufali) 5:110 - Then will Allah say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit, so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught thee the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel and behold! thou makest out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and thou breathest into it and it becometh a bird by My leave, and thou healest those born blind, and the lepers, by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of israel from (violence to) thee when thou didst show them the clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: 'This is nothing but evident magic.'

 

__________

 

These passages of the Qur'an seem to say that birds can be created in the very same way that humans are created! "Out of clay, as it were ... and breathe into it ..." We know that whatever this means, if it is true, it also means this "breath" caused the creation of the very same DNA that links all life on earth, and without which no animal can live.

 

The theory of evolution says nothing more than that all of our physical bodies were created out of the elements of the earth, as does the Qur'an, from what I can tell. All it does is add the details of what happened to those elements on their way to becoming human bodies. And those details are truly undeniable, whether they contradict the Qur'an or not. My hope is, that for your sake, and the sake of the faith you hold dear, there is no contradiction beyond that of the interpretation of fallible humans.

 

Certainly, we can examine our second chromosome and see that is the longest human chromosome. We can tell by the presence of telomeres in the middle that it is a fusion of two chromosomes. We can see that these two chromosomes are shared by the other species in our subclade, and from this and comparison with average mutation rates determine that we shared an ancestor six million years ago, perhaps half a million generations ago.

 

I do not know if this has all occurred by the design of a god. In fact, I do not believe this. But I see no evidence that the Qur'an says this process did not occur. Sister, can you imagine a god capable of creating a universe who is not also capable of creating laws for that universe sufficient to cause us to come into being? Why would such a being care that it took a few billion years for the soup to finish cooking?

 

<break, part 2 of 3>

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I would like to reassure you that the theory of evolution says nothing at all about any spiritual essence that might differentiate us from the rest of creation, though. For that, you are free to turn to the Qur'an. But while our spirits may not be bound to this universe, our bodies are not so free.

 

I bid your spirit peace, and harmony.

 

As ever, Jesse

 

 

 

 

 

Citations of human creation from the Qur'an:

 

6:2 He it is created you from clay, and then decreed a stated term (for you). And there is in His presence another determined term; yet ye doubt within yourselves!

 

7:12 (Allah) said: "What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?" He said: "I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay."

 

15:26 We created man from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape

 

15:28 Behold! thy Lord said to the angels: "I am about to create man, from sounding clay from mud moulded into shape;

 

15:33 (Iblis) said: "I am not one to prostrate myself to man, whom Thou didst create from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape."

 

17:61 Behold! We said to the angels: "Bow down unto Adam": They bowed down except Iblis: He said, "Shall I bow down to one whom Thou didst create from clay?"

 

23:12 Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay);

 

32:7 He Who has made everything which He has created most good: He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay,

 

37:11 Just ask their opinion: are they the more difficult to create, or the (other) beings We have created? Them have We created out of a sticky clay!

 

38:71 Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I am about to create man from clay:

 

38:76 (Iblis) said: "I am better than he: thou createdst me from fire, and him thou createdst from clay."

 

55:14 He created man from sounding clay like unto pottery,

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Peace, Jesse!

 

Do forgive me for my delayed reply.

 

I must concur with my sister Crystal Eyes:

 

The Qur'an clearly states that Adam was the first human created. This is important to note because if something was created by Allah then it did not evolve such as the theory poses.

 

Verily! The holy Qur'an indeed does state that Adam [upon him be peace] is the primordial human being, who was formed in the Garden of Eden, or Paradise to be more precise.

 

We [God] said: "O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression."

 

Then did Satan make them slip from the (Garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: "Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On Earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood--for a time." [The Heifer: 35-36]

 

Truly, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Qur'anic position on the issue of creation is crystal clear. According to our Maker, creation did not occur through an evolutionary process. Those who argue so do so due to their lack of belief in Divine omnipotence.

 

Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, "Be!", and it is. [Mary: 35]

 

All the best,

 

Joseph

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And to you, peace, Joseph,

 

No need for an apology. It's the nature of this thread that posts are going to be delayed, and the delays cause us to lose track of responses. I've had to write up notes to make sure I've covered everyone who's responded. That's how I noticed I'd missed sister nasifa's reposting of her link.

 

Now, on to this last. What can I say other than "yeah, but!" The clear message you and sister Crystal Eyes seem to read from these aya is anything but clear to me.

 

Gather the essence of "clay" or "dirt" or "mire" into some spot outside this universe, form it with something other than literal "hands", "breathe" into it something other than literal breath ... how does that add up to a fixed method of creating humans exclusive of common descent? There's no method listed there at all! Every last bit of it is symbolic.

 

Joseph, I believe you're sincere in your belief in your interpretation, but your interpretation is not unique. Even if it's consistent, where's the evidence that it's uniquely consistent? It's not in the Qur'an, as far as I can tell. I haven't even seen a hadith that backs it up. Frankly, I haven't seen anything inconsistent with the idea this Adam and Eve are anything more than platonic ideals representing the "essence" of humanity formed from the "essence" of clay using the "essence" of hands and the "essence" of breath.

 

Scientific observations only apply to this universe around us, but they surely do apply here. Surely a god could "cook" the evidence, but that would be deceitful, and inconsistent with the god described as asking us to examine our world to discover the truth.

 

When I examine our second chromosome I see the telomere not on the end where it belongs but in the middle showing how two chromosomes were fused at that point, two chromosomes we find unfused in our three nearest biological cousins. When I examine the published work on the genomes of Homo sapiens and Pan troglodytes, I see they are essentially the same in 99.3 percent of their coding DNA.

 

If there is a fundamental difference between us, it's not in our biology. A human can live with a heart transplanted from another species. So if there truly is a fundamental difference between us, it must be somewhere else. It's no good to say the collected muslims and christians and hindus and buddhists and non-religious atheists who have published these observations, often enough coauthoring papers, have some shared religious agenda forcing their work to line up toward the conclusion of common descent -- because they have no shared religion.

 

A conspiracy with three members will remain secret only so long as two of them are dead.

 

<this post length thing is really getting under my skin>

<can't something be done about it?>

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It is far, far simpler to assume religious scholars merely reject out of hand a science they cannot understand, clinging to an interpretation of sacred texts they can understand. And for this, we have evidence.

 

How else do we find arguments against biology laced with questions about astrophysics? And misrepresentations of the theory of evolution as wild as the belief that the theory predicts humans arose from chimpanzees? And bizarre claims that the 99.87 percent of working biologists who accept the evidence supporting the theory of evolution make up an endangered species. And the constant repetition of arguments long since refuted?

 

This is clear proof that those who reject the theory of evolution do not know what they are rejecting.

 

Forgive me if I have disturbed you, for such is not my intention. But it pains me to see my fellow humans, my brothers and sisters, following a path which must deny so much beauty we see in the world around us for reasons that seem unnecessary to me even in terms of the fundamentals of their religious faith. I do not know how to reconcile my interest in seeing this stumbling block removed with my interest in respecting your religion.

 

So I must fall back on my fundamental respect for you, personally, as a fellow seeker after truth. And trust that you will see through any words that rankle into the heart that truly wishes you well on your journey.

 

As ever, in peace, Jesse

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Peace Jesse :D ,

 

I do not use translation from yusufali or any of the other translators. I read the translation and the commentary of the Qur’an by Ibn Kathir :D .

 

The verses you gave about birds and how they are created is beyond my understanding, so I will ask a scholar about that and inshallah (god willing) I’ll get back to you.

 

Let’s look at what the theory of evolution poses: A common ancestor where both humans and chimps have descended from.

 

And Islam says that Adam was the first creation. Therefore it would be almost ridiculous to even say that while Adam was the first creation, evolution must also be correct. Were there two Adam? One created from God while the other was a result of Evolution. I’m not saying that Allah (swt) is not capable of that, Allah (swt) is the lord of the heaven, the earth and all that which is in between. He is the lord of the seen and the unseen.

 

In order for the Qur’an to be in agreement with evolution, Adam can not be the first human to be created as that is contradictory to the theory posed by evolution. Evolution does not say the common ancestor is human, if anything, the common ancestor can not be human because then we should all fear of our children turning into chimps in years to come. Are you trying to say that Islam states that chimps and humans came from Adam? Because that is the only way that evolution would be in agreement with Islam.

 

Furthermore, I do not interpret these verses; I only obtain my understanding from well versed scholars.

 

May Allah (swt) forgive me if I have erred in any way.

 

Regards,

 

Crystal Eyes

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Wa alaikum assalam, Crystal Eyes,

 

I'm sensitive to the question as to whether different sects have influenced different translations of the Qur'an and hadith. I use an online (www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.al-Islam(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/quran/"]multi-translation Qur'an[/url] from al-Islam.com. The commentary is from a shia mufassir, and so I pay especial attention to any references in the commentaries to the imamate when considering his tafsir. Similarly, I am aware the (www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/reference/searchhadith.html"]USC-MSA searchable database[/url] of the Qur'an and hadith is an outgrowth of a shia effort in Indonesia, though it obviously includes principles such as the five pillars which are not relevant to shia Islam. I'm still trying to discover whether it is biased toward any particular sect.

 

I know this site doesn't encourage discussing sectarian differences, but I've investigated them carefully elsewhere, and was unusually successful in attracting reasonable and calm responses from adherents from a range of sects at the same time. I'm actually quite proud of that thread. It was difficult to pull off.

 

__________

 

Please do ask for a considered opinion about the bird ayat. My impression is that they describe a formulaic method of creation identical to the human creation account, that can thus only be interpreted symbolically. I also note that both ayat describe the same event.

 

I understand that Islam says that Adam was the first creation. But I also understand this creation did not occur on earth, or even within the bounds of this universe, and is thus placed by your sacred texts outside our experience of space, and especially, outside our experience of time. Because no language has a way to gracefully describe what "first" would mean in such a sense, it doesn't follow that our sense of the word can properly describe the ordering of this creation.

 

But I also note that this created Adam is said to be inserted onto our earth. I ask myself whether this action could have occurred, by our perception of time, before the creation of sun and moon and stars and the earth itself. I ask myself whether this action could have occurred, by our perception of time, before the creation of microbial life, the differentiation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, multicellular organisms, and on across the diversification of species we see today.

 

I ask myself at what point in the development of the universe, by our perception of time, this could have occurred, and consider the billions of years we know have passed since the "big bang". Toss a dart at that timeline and a few billion years here or there doesn't really signify much. The ayat I've seen clearly speak of an insertion from outside this universe.

 

It is interesting to me to see how widely this differs from the Genesis account, which includes a description of events which cannot be interpreted outside of our perceptions of space and time, as they are clearly occurring on this same earth we see ...

 

<break for post-length>

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... around us. Rather than Adam being supernaturally placed on the earth as an exile from the garden in the Qur'anic account, we see instead the garden being withdrawn from the earth in its analogue in Genesis.

 

Were I a muslim, I'd imagine that difference would be quite thought-provoking. By Islamic standards, I'd imagine that any difference from the words of the bible must be interpreted as a correction, and from there it should be asked what mistake was being corrected.

 

Were there two Adam? One created from God while the other was a result of Evolution.
Most religions differentiate between our physical beings and our spiritual beings. Nor do I believe Islam differs in this, though I would be very interested to find I am mistaken. So I do not see where any contradiction should be required. Are we no more than the biological bodies we inhabit? Which is the truer aspect of a human, his body or his spirit? Which of these presents a fundamental difference between us and our biological cousins requiring the personal attention of a deity in the Qur'anic account?

 

It is not reasonable to defend a thesis that we represent a fundamental difference from our cousins in our biological selves. In witness, I cite adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine.

 

Are you trying to say that Islam states that chimps and humans came from Adam?
Good grief, no! Nor does evolution consider the most recent common ancestor of chimps and humans some 500,000 generations ago in any way special. It too had ancestors.

 

Those ancestors had a most recent common ancestor with all of today's mammals. And that ancestor had a most recent common ancestor with all of today's vertebrates. And that ancestor ... had a most recent common ancestor with all of today's eukaryotic life. In the billions of years that have passed since that time, all branches of diversification have been pruned. Only the tiniest proportion of species that have evolved are present in our world today.

 

I do not have any reason to believe a god selected our particular species to insert some fundamentally different "essence" of humanity. But I can't see why Islam should argue that he did not. On the other hand, I do see monumental stumbling blocks in any theory that does not acknowledge the common origin of our biological bodies with the life around us.

 

Far from the hopes of those who oppose the theory of evolution without understanding, those with understanding continue to produce evidence in the theory's support in greater and greater detail each year, filling more and more journals with their results. There is a beauty in what is being revealed I would not have you miss, sister.

 

If your religion requires you refrain from such adornment, I will understand. But I will still grieve for you, my friend, and wish it were otherwise.

 

As ever, in peace, Jesse

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This is an interesting discussion. As a biology major, I'd like to clarify something: the theory of evolution is not necessarily the same thing as Darwinism. The idea that all life developed from a single cellular ancestor (Darwinism) may contradict Islam. If you ask a scientist about Darwinism and the origins of life, you might get a hesitant answer - this is what all the debate is about, and many biologists I know are hesitant to impose scientific answers on what could be considered a spiritual question (although most biologists do support Darwinism).

 

Evolution, on the other hand, is just the idea that the combination of randomness in genetic material and selection in ability to survive and reproduce, has the effect of greater amounts of favorable characteristics in later generations. It is actually observable in the fields of microbiology, botany and entomology. It is the foundation of biology as we know it. On the other hand, I often get irritated at Darwin supporters who mock fundamentalist Christians and Muslims for "rejecting" what are actually the precepts of evolution, which is much harder to refute.

Tell me, how does evolution explain the eye.

This is, of course, an excellent question. You chose the example biologists really like: the biological ancestor of the eye would have been an eye spot of some sort - many organisms still have them (even on the unicellular level!). So since the original starting point is still helpful, evolution has a "reason" to improve it.

 

On the other hand, one Christian web site I visited asked this question about the bombardier beetle, which has some amazingly complex chemical system to blast boiling hot chemicals out at its attackers. The site asked of Darwinists how the first building blocks of this could possibly have been helpful to the beetle's ancestors, and I confess that I do not know (although I personally do not consider it to be a final refutation of Darwin by any means).

 

All the best,

Ben

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Thank you, Ben,

 

Please note that all posts in this particular forum are moderated before they join the thread, and that this site is short on moderators ... so a post may wait most of a day before it clears. Still, I do promise to answer all posts in this thread as I find time.

 

The idea that all life developed from a single cellular ancestor (Darwinism) may contradict Islam.

 

I'd say where Darwin built the foundations of the theory of evolution sometimes known as Darwinism, Sir Ron Fisher built the house by synthesizing Darwin's work with Mendelian inheritance thus transforming Darwinism into (www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_en.wikipedia(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/wiki/Modern_evolutionary_synthesis"]neo-Darwinism[/url] and leading to the modern evolutionary synthesis.

 

"The synthesis as it exists now has extended the scope of the Darwinian idea of natural selection, specifically to include subsequent scientific discoveries and concepts unknown to Darwin such as DNA and genetics that allow rigorous, in many cases mathematical, analyses of phenomena such as kin selection, altruism, and speciation."

 

A successful attack on Muhammad would probably destroy Islam, and so it is natural for many muslims who see a conflict with the theory of evolution to assume the corollary that a successful attack on Darwin would do the same. This is not true. The corollary breaks down because while Islam requires a perfect revelation through a unique prophet, the theory of evolution instead requires only those facts which can be independently discovered by any investigator.

 

Where the Qur'an is considered the perfection of religion by muslims, "On the origin of species" is considered only the bare bones of the theory of evolution. Where the Qur'an is honored by insisting that no letter has been added or taken away, "On the origins" is honored by the work of both those who have corrected misapprehensions in the text, and those who have built on it.

 

Indeed, had Darwin never published, the theory of evolution would still exist, and religious detractors would be labeling it Wallaceism, after the writer of the paper which appeared simultaneously with Darwin's in the Journal of the Linnean Society.

 

Had Muhammad never "published", there would be no Islam.

 

__________

 

Of course I recognize the possibility that "Darwinism" or "neo-Darwinism" or the "modern evolutionary synthesis" or the "theory of evolution" may contradict Islam, Ben. But what I began this thread to consider was whether it does do so. To this point, what I've seen are a number of references to the creation of Adam somewhere other than on the surface of this earth using something other than breath out of something other than clay formed by something other than hands.

 

And so I remain unconvinced, and await a reason to believe any Islamic stance against the theory of evolution, a theory which did not exist when the Qur'an was written, is other than a philosophical addition to Islam, a "bid'aa" if you will.

 

As ever, Jesse

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Greetings Jesse,

 

I was unable to speak to my teacher and so I do not yet have an answer in regards to the creation of birds and the meaning of the verse which you quote. However, as soon as I do get the answer I’ll let you know.

 

So that we are on the same level and clear on the translation, it’d be very much appreciated if you used the translation and commentary of the Qur’an by Ibn Kathir. (you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.tafsir(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/).

 

You’re right that Adam was not created on earth and therefore removed from time space in which we know today. However, where Adam (pbuh) was created is of little significance if you want to dot up evolution and Islam. Allah (swt) is not incapable of having carried out Evolution. However, it is evidently clear as to why Islam and evolution do not counter part one another.

 

Let’s remove Adam (pbuh) from the lineage of evolution. That leaves the theory spineless for then humans and chimps would not have a common ancestor.

 

Adam was created by God and therefore it is impossible for Adam to have also evolved if he was already created. The verses about Adam (pbuh) having being created are contradictory to the thesis of evolution. Surely if he evolved why would there be verses about him being created? How does this explain Eve?

 

Let’s look at this logically without dwelling about the possibility of our imaginations. It is easier to disprove an argument than it is to prove it. So it is only fair the tables are turned and that you bring forth evidence in the Qur’an and Sunnah which does not contradict the theory of evolution.

 

You have asked many rhetorical questions and I’m unsure as to whether I should interrupt your contemplation or to leave you to ponder upon yourself :D .

 

You state that you think that it is bid’aa so I’m guessing you’re aware of the meaning of the word. It is a strong accusation to make and even more dangerous if you do not have evidence to support your claim.

 

As in regards to you not wanting me to miss out on gaining knowledge in the concept of evolution, I appreciate your concern and I am studying the theory of evolution now so don’t feel heart broken :D .

 

I have thought about the theory of evolution and that has never fluctuated my faith alhamdulillah (all praise is to God). I will always contemplate on the universe and any scientifically based discovery. Which may I add, the theory of evolution is not scientific but it is instead a human interpretation based on the works of Charles Pierce called abductive reasoning, which I’m sure you know how it works.

 

Also i'm not interpreting the Quran with my understanding and reaching a conclusion, rather i obtain ilm (knowledge) from those who are well-versed.

 

May Allah (swt) forgive me if i have made an error.

 

Sorry for the delay in reply. Too busy but when I do find the time I’ll respond in depth inshallah (god willing)

 

 

Regards,

 

Crystal Eyes

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Thank you for your thoughts, Crystal Eyes,

 

Let’s remove Adam (pbuh) from the lineage of evolution. That leaves the theory spineless for then humans and chimps would not have a common ancestor.

 

Whoa there! Pruning a leaf from a twig from a branch from a tree doesn't chop down the orchard. Evolution isn't about humans, it's about life. Ninety-some-odd percent of the biomass on earth is microbial, and all the life we can see is nothing more than a thin foam on this sea. "On the Origin of Species" doesn't even address human evolution.

 

Let’s look at this logically without dwelling about the possibility of our imaginations. It is easier to disprove an argument than it is to prove it. So it is only fair the tables are turned and that you bring forth evidence in the Qur’an and Sunnah which does not contradict the theory of evolution.

 

Now ask me a tough one. :D

 

"There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet."

 

From what I have heard, I believe this is the heart of Islam as revealed in the Qur'an. It does not contradict the theory of evolution. (But I have to add that I'm still very shaky on what constitutes the Sunnah.)

 

First, I'd like to say that this thread poses a question rather than stating a position. Were I to receive responses that say Islam is indeed a friend of the theory of evolution, I would likewise ask similar probing questions. As it turns out, responses from muslims have so far been from only one side. I have met muslim evolutionists, though one doesn't normally speak of religion in a professional setting.

 

As you say, it is appropriate we begin on the same page. Ironically, I keep getting an error when I try to bring up tafsir.com. ("HTTP/1.1 New Session Failed.") I think I've checked it out before, but as far as I can remember, it lacks the searchability I need. Similarly, let me ask you to read the wiki on (www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_en.wikipedia(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/wiki/Bid%27ah"]bid'ah[/url] so that you understand my usage.

 

<break>

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So yes, I do say that any Islamic opinion on the theory of evolution is bid'ah in some sense of the word, though I can't say how to draw a line between bid'ah in the religious and secular senses. I'm still trying to get a grip on its essential meaning. To that end, I actually began a thread to explore the differences.

 

(www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.gawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?s=&showtopic=27250&view=findpost&p=263593"]Let's Talk About "non-bid'aa" Innovation[/url]

 

I am no more convinced that Islam takes a position on the theory of evolution than that it takes a position on the theory of gravity or the standard model of physics. Please remember that I am not a muslim and feel it inappropriate for me to make comments on what constitutes another's religious faith. Any such declaration about Islam must be made by muslims.

 

Now, regarding bid'ah, you've asked for "... evidence to support your claim."

 

Before Darwin, there was no theory of evolution. In this sense, any pronouncement about evolution by Islam is bid'ah. And in the 150 years since Darwin and Wallace first published those first two papers simultaneously in the Journal of the Linnean Society, the theory of evolution has itself evolved. Like any other science, it is a moving target. Consider what the theory of evolution is today.

 

Today, research into biological evolution is increasingly led by molecular biologists with the new tools we have to investigate our genomes. As the observations we make using these tools were not available to Muhammad or his companions, any incorporation of the theory of evolution, whether acceptance or rejection, is necessarily an innovation.

 

Which may I add, the theory of evolution is not scientific ...

 

Balderdash.

 

Whoever told you that? I guarantee it wasn't a scientist. (By the way, it's called "inductive" reasoning and actually dates back at least as far as the greeks.) All science is based on inductive reasoning, and the theory of evolution is by no means an exception. Make an observation, try to explain it, test the explanation, repeat as needed. If that's not science, nothing is.

 

<break>

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Evolution is variation in the frequency of alleles in a gene pool, or more prosaically, the observation that offspring resemble their parents without being identical to them. The theory of evolution is based on this observation of "descent with modification." It attempts to explain it by making hypotheses, it tests these hypotheses and revises itself by culling and expanding on predictions that prove false or true respectively.

 

It's just not possible to coherently claim that evolution isn't science. If you're using a different meaning of the word "science", I think you need to make this clear. But a word of caution, if your meaning does not coincide with that used by scientists, it seems to me this would be just as inappropriate as a non-muslim forcing an outsider definition onto Islam.

 

I can't imagine any muslim accepting a claim that Islam is not the religion of Muhammad based on an alternative definition of religion. Communication requires more than being on the same page. It also requires we speak the same language.

 

__________

 

Anyway, you're right to think I expected to see some arguments in favor of evolution in terms of Islamic beliefs, and had some ideas of how they might be phrased. So I'll make an attempt to argue in the absence of these contributions for the other side.

 

Principally, I expected to see arguments in terms of the general search for truth. I might suggest the strongest argument might come from the comparison of the Eden tales, as I related earlier. Why does Genesis say that Eden was removed from the earth where the Qur'an says it was never a part of the earth?

 

The implications of this difference are striking. I'd imagine any difference would be seen by muslims as a correction, and lead to the question of what was being corrected. It seems to me the principle difference is that the "Eden as part of the earth tale" places the creation of Adam into our space-time forcing in turn a set interpretation of the order of events, thus the physical creation of Adam is inseparable from the spiritual metaphor. If the Qur'anic account differs, it seems to me it would have to be seen as a rejection of this chain of reasoning. Can you think of any other reason for this difference?

 

As ever, Jesse

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Peace and good wishes to all of you. :D

 

Please excuse me for interrupting the discussion. I know very little about Islam and cannot offer any wisdom concerning Islam and the science of evolution and natural selection, but I do have one small piece if wisdom to offer. It is only an opinion of my own, formed after some years of study in world religions, so you may listen or not -- it is your choice. :D

 

Trying to reconcile God and science will only insult God and science. Neither gain; both lose. Science relies on testable concepts and vigourous experimentation. Will God subject Himself to tests and experiments? No. So do not insult Him by trying, and do not insult scientists by suggesting they should either. Religion and science are separate, having very little to do with each other, and I would suspect that if there were a God, they're probably separate for a reason.

 

Just an opinion, nothing more.

 

Peace, in the spirit of understanding. :D

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Peace Nex!

 

I do not agree with your conclusions.

 

Science is the name given to study of the way things on this earth work, while God is the name of the Entity that makes these things work. They are totally independent and cannot be compared. One being the result of the other's actions.

 

Scientists need to test and experiment to prove their findings before they become acceptable, while God does not need any testing and experimenting. He exists. Those whose hearts and minds accept Him, will benefit, those who do not will be the losers. This is a fact that will only be accepted by searching for Him. If a person lays back and rejects Him, the fault is with the rejector, while He loses nothing.

 

Peace out

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Peace and good wishes to all of you. :D

 

Please excuse me for interrupting the discussion. I know very little about Islam and cannot offer any wisdom concerning Islam and the science of evolution and natural selection, but I do have one small piece if wisdom to offer. It is only an opinion of my own, formed after some years of study in world religions, so you may listen or not -- it is your choice. :D

 

Trying to reconcile God and science will only insult God and science. Neither gain; both lose. Science relies on testable concepts and vigourous experimentation. Will God subject Himself to tests and experiments? No. So do not insult Him by trying, and do not insult scientists by suggesting they should either. Religion and science are separate, having very little to do with each other, and I would suspect that if there were a God, they're probably separate for a reason.

 

Just an opinion, nothing more.

 

Peace, in the spirit of understanding. :)

 

Ah, but you have not yet read the Qur'an. There are several verses about science than scientists have only discovered in the past 20 years. For example, the Big Bang, the Expansion of the Universe, the development of the human embryo, the Sphericity of the Earth, and the lowest point on Earth, and many more. In Moses' time, he turned his staff into a snake, in Jesus' time, he healed the lepers. Today, we have the Qur'an, which is chock full of scientific information, mathematical codes, and beautiful langauge.

 

When talking about the Theory of Evolution, there was a scientist by the name of Schlomi Lesser who was having a debate with a group of Rabbis in Tel Aviv. He asked the Rabbis how tall Adam and Eve were. They replied that according to their scriptures, they were six feet tall. He said that this was impossible. He was an evolutionist, but he said that the only possible way that the human race could have been started by two people, was if they were... (drumroll please) 90 feet tall! There is a hadith narrated by Abu Haraira that the Prophet Muhammad :D said that Adam was 60 cubits (or 90 feet) tall. Soooo..., if the only possible way that creationism is possible to scientists was recorded in Islamic scripture, what does that tell us?

 

 

The reason why Adam and Hawwa had to be so huge was so their offspring wouldn't imbreed. You see, today, if a brother and sister marry, they have similar chromosomes. I'll use the example of marbles. Let's say their genetic marbles are green, orange, and red. You can't have the same colored marbles, or your kids will imbreed. However, Adam and Hawwa have like hundreds of different marbles because they are so huge. So their offspring will all have different colored marbles.

 

:D

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Peace Nex!

 

I do not agree with your conclusions.

 

Science is the name given to study of the way things on this earth work, while God is the name of the Entity that makes these things work. They are totally independent and cannot be compared. One being the result of the other's actions.

 

Scientists need to test and experiment to prove their findings before they become acceptable, while God does not need any testing and experimenting. He exists. Those whose hearts and minds accept Him, will benefit, those who do not will be the losers. This is a fact that will only be accepted by searching for Him. If a person lays back and rejects Him, the fault is with the rejector, while He loses nothing.

 

Peace out

Peace and thanks for your reply, aburafay :D

 

Well, my point is that scientists do test and experiment to prove their findings. However, in testing and experimenting based on the Quran (or Bible), it is directly testing the supposed word of God. I think that, if I believed in God and the word of God, I would find that an insult to God. Wouldn't you? You believe the word, or you don't, but testing it is like saying "Gee God, I believe you and all, but you need to prove it now." According to the description of the Abrahamic god, I would think He'd not like that too much, hence my opinion.

 

I'm not saying it's wrong or incorrect to believe in the creation story as the Quran (or Bible, or Torah) state it to be. But to subject it to scientific testing is like subjecting God's word to testing, which God has already said in scripture that He will not abide.

 

Does that make more sense? :D

 

Peace. :D

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Peace Jibrael :D

 

Ah, but you have not yet read the Qur'an. There are several verses about science than scientists have only discovered in the past 20 years. For example, the Big Bang, the Expansion of the Universe, the development of the human embryo, the Sphericity of the Earth, and the lowest point on Earth, and many more. In Moses' time, he turned his staff into a snake, in Jesus' time, he healed the lepers. Today, we have the Qur'an, which is chock full of scientific information, mathematical codes, and beautiful langauge.

I respect your opinion Jibrael, but this is a discussion on evolutionary theory, not the big bang or mathematics. :D

 

When talking about the Theory of Evolution, there was a scientist by the name of Schlomi Lesser ...

I am having a hard time finding a scientist or professor by that name. Could you please source your claim for me? I would prefer a university or scholarly website, or perhaps a paper authored by him.

 

In a Google search for "Schlomi Lesser" all I find is (www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.google(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/search?q=%22shlomi+lesser%22&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&start=0&sa=N"]this[/url]. I suspect he doesn't exist, I'm sorry to say.

 

...who was having a debate with a group of Rabbis in Tel Aviv. He asked the Rabbis how tall Adam and Eve were. They replied that according to their scriptures, they were six feet tall. He said that this was impossible. He was an evolutionist, but he said that the only possible way that the human race could have been started by two people, was if they were... (drumroll please) 90 feet tall! There is a hadith narrated by Abu Haraira that the Prophet Muhammad :D said that Adam was 60 cubits (or 90 feet) tall. Soooo..., if the only possible way that creationism is possible to scientists was recorded in Islamic scripture, what does that tell us?

The reason why Adam and Hawwa had to be so huge was so their offspring wouldn't imbreed. You see, today, if a brother and sister marry, they have similar chromosomes. I'll use the example of marbles. Let's say their genetic marbles are green, orange, and red. You can't have the same colored marbles, or your kids will imbreed. However, Adam and Hawwa have like hundreds of different marbles because they are so huge. So their offspring will all have different colored marbles.

That makes no sense -- they must be 90ft tall so their offspring wouldn't inbreed? I'm sorry Jibrael, but that's ridiculous. No matter how tall they were, two people can only produce offspring between themselves, and to grow in population there *must* be inbreeding if there is only one original breeding pair. :D

 

Peace to you, Jibrael. Thank you for your input. :)

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Peace and good wishes to all of you. :D

 

<snip>

 

Trying to reconcile God and science will only insult God and science.

 

<snip>

 

Peace, in the spirit of understanding. :D

 

Greetings to you as well, Nex,

 

I'm not convinced they can't be reconciled, but I do believe it's not worthwhile to try to subordinate one to the other. And certainly there are conceptions of god which can't be reconciled with science at all. I recently ran into an interesting critique of the ID movement from Henry Neufeld, (www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.energionpubs(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/wordpress/?p=146"]Good Theology, Bad Theology, and Demons[/url]. What Henry addresses in the article is more generally applicable. Attempts to reinterpret scientific observations into a set theological framework are bound to result in a perversion of both science and theology.

 

Thank you for your thoughts.

 

Peace Nex!

 

I do not agree with your conclusions.

 

Science is the name given to study of the way things on this earth work, while God is the name of the Entity that makes these things work. They are totally independent and cannot be compared. One being the result of the other's actions.

 

Scientists need to test and experiment to prove their findings before they become acceptable, while God does not need any testing and experimenting. He exists. Those whose hearts and minds accept Him, will benefit, those who do not will be the losers. This is a fact that will only be accepted by searching for Him. If a person lays back and rejects Him, the fault is with the rejector, while He loses nothing.

 

Peace out

 

Salam, Aburafay,

 

Here you've come near one of my greatest frustrations when discussing these topics. Often a theist will acknowledge that their creator is capable of setting up natural laws, but cannot find faith that a creator could set them up sufficiently well to account for the universe we see around us. It seems to me that this encompasses an inherent contradiction. It seems to say that the creator of natural laws made a mistake, else why would he have to readjust?

 

<snip>

 

When talking about the Theory of Evolution, there was a scientist by the name of Schlomi Lesser who was having a debate with a group of Rabbis in Tel Aviv. He asked the Rabbis how tall Adam and Eve were. They replied that according to their scriptures, they were six feet tall. He said that this was impossible. He was an evolutionist, but he said that the only possible way that the human race could have been started by two people, was if they were... (drumroll please) 90 feet tall! There is a hadith narrated by Abu Haraira that the Prophet Muhammad :D said that Adam was 60 cubits (or 90 feet) tall. Soooo..., if the only possible way that creationism is possible to scientists was recorded in Islamic scripture, what does that tell us?

 

<snip>

 

:D

 

I've seen many of these attempts to find modern science inside the pages of the Qur'an, and they almost always seem to be associated with a poor understanding of both science and scientists.

 

In particular, I sincerely doubt that any rabbis found references in their texts to the first humans being six feet tall. The idea that a biologist could be so misinformed about the theory of evolution to think the length of a genome was proportional to body size is simply incredible. It is well known that the tiniest infant has just as many base pairs in its chromosome as the tallest human. Every single cell in your body has a full copy of your DNA.

 

In a word, I'm sure this tale is entirely imaginary. It never happened.

 

(A few googles later.)

 

Yep, it was put out on the web as a (www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_us.geocities(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/freethoughtmecca/profiles2.html"]deliberate hoax[/url] to check the gullibility of believers.

 

When we first found out that Osama had accepted this ridiculous claim as true, we originally planned on writing an article that explained point for point where the obvious errors were. However, Mr. Katz' article was so thorough in explaining why the relevant claims are false that there is no need for us to repeat them here. We will simply confirm a few of Jochen's conclusions:

 

1. No such person as "Dr. Shlomi Lesser" exists; rather that name was pulled out of thin air.

2. There is no such journal as Ha-Mada Ha-Yisraeli B'Angleet V'Ivreet; rather that is a figment of our imagination.

3. There is no Hofesh V'Mada Society; rather that too was concocted in our heads.

 

Kind of embarassing, I'd say. Sorry about that.

 

As ever, Jesse

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assalumu alaikum

I tell you all to visit "harunyahya" site and your all questions regarding evolution theory inshallaah will be answered.

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